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Chief exec of UK Scout Association: Time for a Promise that atheists can keep

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  • Chief exec of UK Scout Association: Time for a Promise that atheists can keep


    Looks like the UK Scout Association will finally be officially open to atheists:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9719079/Time-for-a-Promise-that-atheists-can-keep.html

  • #2
    Looks good. Hopefully the BSA will be next.

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    • #3
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Scouting

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      • #4
        The wikkipedia article linked to above (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Scouting
        ) is a little out of date
        from what i know the UK policy ( at theis time of writing ) does not exclude youth members who express doubts/declare themselves to be atheists etc, the policy for adults is slightly different as an avowed absence of a relegious beleif is a bar to membership.

        The misssmatch occurs when a young person/youth member joins who staes that they do not beleive in God, and refuse the make the scout promise ( and say the line "Duty to God"), which they have to make in order to join.


        The article linked to here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9719079/Time-for-a-Promise-that-atheists-can-keep.html is something new, and I await to see exactly what its about tomorrow, cpmplete with the fall out whatever way it goes.

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        • #5
          Without the scout promise then what is it that they're practicing? It isn't scouting.

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          • #6
            Somehow I do not see B.P. accepting this, based on his numerous spirituality related comments in his writing. At some point, and this is it for me, the program is no longer Scouting. You can have all kinds of hybrids, but the real program is not the same without God or some form of spirituality and belief in something greater than ourselves. JMO of course.

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            • #7
              "Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity." -B.P.

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              • #8
                "Without the scout promise then what is it that they're practicing? It isn't scouting."

                I find that highly offensive.

                So what you are saying is Atheists can not be trustworthy. Atheists can not be kind, loyal, helpfull or brave? Atheists can not go camping, hiking, or teach kids orienteering or first aid skills. Atheists posses no leadership qualities and are on par with what, pedophiles?

                Well yes, that is exactly what BSA says. Which yes, I do find highly offensive. BSA does not have a monopoly on "scouting". BSA does not define "scouting". BSA has a legal trademark on the name and can legally prevent any other organization in the USA of using the word "scout" in their organization's title.

                But no, BSA does not "own" scouting and neither do you.

                There are millions of people involved in scouting through the world as well as in this country that are not part of BSA and do not agree with the BSA and they have every right to do so and they are in every way a part of the scouting movement as started by Baden Powell. Just as BSA has every right to set whatever membership requirements they wish and if they want to force people to be religious if they wish to be a BSA scout then so be it, they can and people can or can not join.

                Yes, BSA is scouting. So is everyone else that does not subscribe to BSA's policies whether they are religious or not that is part of the world wide scouting movement. What makes a person a good person comes from within themselves and has nothing to do with whether or not they consider themselves religious. There are plenty of evil people who are or were religious. All those horrible Catholic priests that molested kids? Bin Laden believed in a God. Even Hitler in his own words stated: "I am fighting for the work of the Lord". Yet, BSA would rather have him be a leader than a very kind and wonderful person who just happens to not believe in a higher power.

                My point is simple: BSA scouting is just one scouting group. There are many more valid scouting groups out there with vastly different views than what BSA has. Even Baden Powell himself, while critical of Atheists in his own writings recognized that not everyone believes in a higher power yet those children should still have the opportunity be a Scout. And one version of his original Scout Promise allowed just for that. The original outlanders promise did not have God in it. And the original law did not have 'reverent'. You don't like it? Tough, argue the point of what scouting is with the person who founded it.

                BSA can do whatever they want however they want, they have the right and neither my personal opinion nor yours is relevant. But don't you dare for a moment tell someone else they are not a true Scout just because they are not part of BSA.

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                • #9
                  So what you are saying is Atheists can not be trustworthy. Atheists can not be kind, loyal, helpfull or brave? Atheists can not go camping, hiking, or teach kids orienteering or first aid skills. Atheists posses no leadership qualities and are on par with what, pedophiles?

                  No, I am saying that atheists can do all those things, but that scouting is more than just those things.

                  Tough, argue the point of what scouting is with the person who founded it.

                  I don't see any need to argue with Baden-Powell -- I think it is pretty obvious what he thought.

                  But don't you dare for a moment tell someone else they are not a true Scout just because they are not part of BSA.

                  I'm not talking about the BSA (I am not a member myself), I am talking about scouting as founded by Baden-Powell. If you can't keep the scout promise and law as formulated by Baden-Powell (and I don't believe the myth about the "Outlander Promise", which is totally not in keeping with what B.P. thought about the necessity of religion), then you're not a scout.

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                  • #10
                    >


                    Here we have the culture clash neatly summarized.

                    The culture of traditionalists includes religion, the culture of the new does not.

                    Either you exclude religion or you don't.

                    Of course, advocates of the new culture routinely exclude religion from the public square, from schools and such and take great pride in doing so, but they don't see it as "offending" those who have traditional views, or perhaps they relish the idea of offending such people.

                    But Scouting is a private organization that advocates of the new don't control. Their writ doesn't run in Scouting.

                    The shoe is on the other foot there, and it is their choice to either accept that norm or to get out.

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                    • #11
                      Or change it, like the UK SA is considering.

                      By the way, religion isn't excluded from public schools in the US.

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                      • #12
                        Odd, then why do my kids' teachers not want to be known for organizing the baccalaureate service?

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                        • #13
                          Public schools can't hold baccalaureate services; assuming it's being held in a church, my guess would be that it has nothing to do with their teaching position, so there's no reason to mention it. But why the hell don't you ask THEM?

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                          • #14
                            Outdoors: "I find that highly offensive."

                            That's funny. .... Your point is ???? ....

                            Scouting without a component of faith is just camping.

                            You can have all the virtues you want, but without a component of faith, it's just not scouting. That's why Eagle rank accepts Chaplain Aide as a position of responsibility to fulfill requirements.

                            ...

                            I pray that BSA never goes the path of YMCA. I find it hard to walk into our local YMCA these days as the ones in our city have had the crosses removed and have been rebranded "The Y". Go on their web sites and you see a whitewashed history that talks about being formed to promote positive values. That's a half truth at best. The first YMCA organization was started as a Christian bible study to keep young men away from sin. Every YMCA until the last few decades has had Christianity in it as part of the program. I'm against the YMCA as much as I'm incredibly sad when I think what a great organization it once was. I'm sad because they choose to remove Christ from the title.

                            BSA is more inclusive then the YMCA was, but I pray BSA does not go down the same road.

                            If nothing else, let the unit charter organizations choose. If sponsored by a church, why not let the church include a component of faith. If ya don't like it, find a scouting unit sponsored elsewhere.

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                            • #15
                              Meanwhile, across the North sea, the Dutch Scouts look on...

                              ik beloof mijn best te doen
                              een goede Scout te zijn,
                              bewust het goede te zoeken en te bevorderen,
                              iedereen te helpen waar ik kan
                              en me te houden aan de Scouts-wet.
                              Jullie kunnen op me rekenen.


                              and in English....

                              I promise to do my best
                              to be a good Scout
                              to search for, and encourage the good consciously,
                              to help everyone where I can
                              and to live by the scout law.
                              You can depend on me.

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